Time Out Index reveals the world’s best cities

Time Out loves the cities we cover, and we also love to hear directly from our readers to ensure we write about what we know they want to read. Each year we conduct a global survey of Time Out readers, and this year we asked more than 30,000 people around the world about their city’s music, nightlife, food, drink and culture scenes, as well as their personal happiness levels and everything from how often they exercised to how often they had sex.

Through this survey we gain insight into our readers, identify key trends, focus on areas for improvement and learn more about our city fabric and what makes people tick. It is this knowledge that shapes our content and sets us apart for understanding our global matrix.

This year the survey uncovered some interesting facts. Here are a few key facts about what our readers think.

Melbourne is the second-best city in the world, according to the survey. Melburnians love their live music scene, dining options and nightlife, and 84 per cent of those who took the survey said they’d felt happy in the previous 24 hours. Some 97 per cent of Melburnians said their city was ‘good’ or ‘amazing’ for live music, and 99 per cent rated the city for culture in general. Only New York ranked higher in the Time Out City Index, which the Melbourne team are pretty chuffed about.

Unfortunately, Sydney’s lockout laws continue to take their toll, with Sydney ranked as the tenth-worst city in the world – it came 39th of 48 cities in the survey. Just 9 per cent rated Sydney for live music, and 81 per cent said the city’s cultural scene was ‘amazing’ or ‘good’. Of those, only 20 per cent said the culture in Sydney was amazing – compare that to 76 per cent who said the same in Melbourne. Sydney was also dead last in the entire world for nightlife – only 7 per cent said they loved Sydney’s nightlife. Cities that have better nightlife than Sydney include conservative Abu Dhabi and Dubai. But Sydney is the world leader in one category – fitness. It’s the fittest city in the world, with 71 per cent of people saying they exercised at least once a week. When life makes it hard to go out, you might as well put on your walking shoes.

Melbourne has significantly out-ranked Sydney in each year since the Time Out City Index started in 2017. 16 out of 18 in 2017, 28 out of 32 in 2018, and now 39 out of 48.
Time Out wants all cities' to be the best that they can be in every regard, especially nightlife, which is we've been working hard to revitalise Sydney. This includes being highly involved in the work of the Night Time industries Association, of which our MD Michael Rodrigues is proud to chair.

To find out how we can make Time Out’s Index data and insights work for your brand, please contact Commercial Director, Elise Bucholtz on 03 8415 8001 or elise.bucholtz@timeout.com

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